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  1. #1

    Wireless Setup - Start Here

    Setting Up A Wireless Card in Linux

    Although it may at first seem like a daunting task, setting up a wireless device can sometimes be fairly easy. But first, there is some information that is needed. If you are a Windows user, and new to Linux, don't worry. Windows doesn't automatically support all wireless cards, so don't expect Linux to do it. It may take a little work to get it working.

    You may have read other How-To's that tell you to install NDISwrapper. For now, don't worry about trying to install NDISwrapper. You first need to identify the chipset that your wireless has, plus some other information. When you have all of the info, post it in a new thread.

    Now, there actually are some cards that almost work without any configuration, but most require some configuring.

    Now you will need to collect the information to diagnose how to make your wireless work. First what type is it? USB or PCI card or built-in? The brand-name of the wireless is less important, but give us that too.

    Enter these commands in a terminal and post the output in your thread. If you need to use Windows to connect to the internet, then save the output in a text editor application. Common Linux text editors are Gedit and Kwrite. When you save the file, add a .txt extension to the name, so that Windows will recognize it as a text file and open it. This can be done within the same command, here's an example:
    lspci -knn > lspci.txt
    The lspci.txt file can then be found in your home folder. You can do this for all of the commands that I list below.

    EDIT: I have now made a script that will automatically run these commands, and put the output into a text file. You can skip to the next post for more information on this.

    Remember that Ubuntu requires the "sudo" command to precede some commands. Distro's like Fedora need the path included with the command.

    If it is a built-in or PCI wireless, use this command to determine the card info:
    lspci -knn
    For Fedora:
    /sbin/lspci -knn
    If it is a USB wireless, use this command. It will not give as much info as for a PCI card, but it is useful anyway:
    For Fedora:
    To see a list of all driver modules that your system is loading, use this command. I usually can spot a wireless driver in the list:
    To see any error codes that your system may have generated concerning the wireless, enter this command.
    Post any relevant wireless messages or wlan errors in your thread. Many cards require firmware to be loaded before they will work, so look for firmware errors in the dmesg output. A command that will only give firmware messages can be used:
    dmesg | grep firmware
    The Linux distribution and version can be useful, as well as the kernel version.
    To obtain the kernel version, use this command.
    uname -r
    It may be helpful to see any network adapter information by using:
    ifconfig -a
    When posting the information that you have found, it is best to use something called BB Code. It consists of surounding the text with "tags". Here is an example:

    [code]This is a "code" tag[/code]

    Which will appear in the post like this:
    This is a "code" tag
    This can also be accomplished by highlighting the text, and clicking on the # icon at the top of the input box.

    The same can be applied to the "quote" tag:

    [quote]This is a "quote" tag[/quote]

    Which will appear like this:
    This is a "quote" tag
    The differences in those two are with the formatting. There are many other tags that can be used, see this page for more info:

    Linux Forums - BB Code List

    Please start a new thread to post the output of the above commands. Do not use an existing thread, unless you have already started a thread for this problem.

    By providing the needed information up front, it can make this process much easier and quicker.

    And finally, if you do get your wireless to work, please post about it in your thread. What it finally took to get it working could be beneficial to others using the same wireless chip. Just posting "I got it to work, thanks" tells us very little. Please help to give a little back to the Linux community that helped you.
    Last edited by jayd512; 05-18-2012 at 12:37 AM. Reason: Added bit about ifconfig
    Please do not send Private Messages to me with requests for help. I will not reply.

  2. #2
    I have written a little Bash script that will obtain the needed information when run. You copy the code below, and save it in a text editor as a file named WirelessSetup. Or you can download the file from here:


    Rename it WirelessSetup (remove the .txt extension).

    #! /bin/bash
    # This script will find the needed information for
    # wireless troubleshooting.
    # Name this file WirelessSetup
    cd ~/
    touch wireless_setup.txt
    echo ============ lspci ============ >> ~/wireless_setup.txt
    lspci -knn >> ~/wireless_setup.txt
    echo ` ` >> ~/wireless_setup.txt
    echo ============ lsusb ============ >> ~/wireless_setup.txt
    lsusb >> ~/wireless_setup.txt
    echo ` ` >> ~/wireless_setup.txt
    echo ============ lsmod ============ >> ~/wireless_setup.txt
    lsmod >> ~/wireless_setup.txt
    echo ` ` >> ~/wireless_setup.txt
    echo ============ dmesg-firmware ============ >> ~/wireless_setup.txt
    dmesg | grep firmware >> ~/wireless_setup.txt
    echo ` ` >> ~/wireless_setup.txt
    echo ============ kernel version ============ >> ~/wireless_setup.txt
    uname -r >> ~/wireless_setup.txt
    echo ` ` >> ~/wireless_setup.txt
    echo ============ ifconfig ============ >> ~/wireless_setup.txt
    ifconfig >> ~/wireless_setup.txt
    echo ` ` >> ~/wireless_setup.txt
    echo ============ iwconfig ============ >> ~/wireless_setup.txt
    iwconfig >> ~/wireless_setup.txt
    Then make the file executable. Assuming the file is in your home folder, enter this command.
    chmod +x ~/WirelessSetup
    You then can run the script with this command.
    It will create a text file in your home folder named wireless_setup.txt. This will contain the information described in the previous post. You can then open that file and copy the contents to your help thread.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by waterhead; 10-05-2009 at 01:59 AM. Reason: Added ifconfig/iwconfig to script.
    Please do not send Private Messages to me with requests for help. I will not reply.

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